Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic condition. It’s a form of arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints of the spine. The joints where the spine meets the pelvis are most affected. The condition may also impact areas where tendons and ligaments attach to bones. It may cause inflammation in other areas of the body, such as:
What are the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?
Many people with AS experience stiffness and pain in the lower back. This pain may be sporadic and range in severity. These symptoms can progress into the upper spine.
Other symptoms vary from person to person. These symptoms can include:
loss of flexibility
sensitivity to light
red, watery eyes
reduced lung capacity
cauda equina syndrome
general unwell feeling
stomach or bowel problems
Although AS is progressive, not everyone will experience spinal fusion or severe complications.
AS symptoms may be atypical in women. For example, symptoms may begin in the neck instead of the lower back.
What causes ankylosing spondylitis?
The exact cause of AS is unknown, though genetics play a role. The genetic marker HLA-B27 is present in 95 percent of Caucasians with AS. This gene association varies across ethnic and racial groups. Overall, carrying the HLA-B27 gene may present a 40 percent risk for developing AS. Many people with this genetic marker don’t develop AS, and you don’t have to be HLA-B27 positive to have AS.
Five or six other genes may have a connection to AS. When these genes combine with a bacterial infection or other environmental factor, they may trigger AS. More research is needed in this area.
Risk factors to consider
AS usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood and continues throughout your life. It occurs more often in men than women. As a result, if you’re an adolescent or young adult male, your risk for AS is higher. Other risk factors are a family history of AS, having the HLA-B27 genetic marker, and frequent GI infection.
Natural treatments for ankylosing spondylitis
There isn’t a cure for AS. It’s a lifelong condition, but effective treatments are available. Treatment goals are to minimize pain and stiffness and reduce flares. Natural treatments may be used on their own or with traditional AS treatments.
These 10 natural therapies may help relieve symptoms:
Stretching helps build flexibility and may reduce pain. Consider adding the spine stretch or the low-back rotation stretch to your daily routine.
2. Heat therapy
Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad to the affected area to reduce stiffness and pain. You may also use moist or dry heat. A warm bath may also help, especially before exercise. Don’t use heat therapy without consulting your doctor if you have diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, vascular disease, an open wound, or a skin condition such as dermatitis.
You’ll need to keep up with your usual medical care, but some natural remedies might help relieve pain and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Many of them are simple, like using heat and ice packs. Others, like acupuncture, need a trained pro.
If you want to try natural and home remedies, ask your doctor what would be most helpful for you and if there are any limits on what’s OK for you to try. If he gives you the go-ahead, you might want to look into some of these common treatments:
Heat and Cold
Many doctors recommend heat and cold treatments to ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Each offers different benefits:
Cold: It curbs joint swelling and inflammation. Apply an ice pack to the affected joint during an RA flare-up, for instance. Just don’t overdo it. Apply the cold compress for 15 minutes at a time. Take at least a 30-minute break between treatments.
Heat: It relaxes your muscles and spurs blood flow. You can use a moist heating pad or a warm, damp towel. Many people like using microwaveable hot packs. Don’t go too hot. Your skin shouldn’t burn. You can also use heat therapy in the shower. Let the warm water hit the painful area on your body. That may help soothe it. A hot tub is another good way to relax stiff muscles. Just don’t use hot tubs or spas if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or are pregnant.
Magnet therapies come in a variety of forms, such as bracelets, necklaces, inserts, pads, or disks. You can find them at most natural food stores.
Most research on magnets involves people with osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear type of arthritis linked to aging, not RA.
In people with knee and hip osteoarthritis, some early studies have shown they improved joint pain better than a placebo. Doctors don’t know exactly how magnets might relieve pain, and there’s no clear proof that they actually help people with rheumatoid arthritis.
This traditional form of Chinese medicine is one of the oldest natural painremedies around. It uses super-fine needles to stimulate energy along pathways in your body called meridians. The goal is to correct imbalances of energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”). There isn’t a lot of research specific to RA, although studies do show it lowers levels of chemicals in your body linked to inflammation. It also helps with chronic pain, especially back pain. It may also help with osteoarthritis.
Since it involves needles that need to be clean and properly placed, ask your rheumatologist to recommend a practitioner who works with people that have RA.
This natural treatment doesn’t appear to affect pain levels or chemicals that cause inflammation. But it might boost your mood. One small study found lemon scent might boost your mood, but that’s about it. Essential oils can be a nice addition to a massage. Be careful if you apply them to your skin or let someone else do it. Some are known irritants. Try a test patch to see how you react. Don’t use it on broken or damaged skin.
This technique helps you learn to control automatic responses such as heart rate and blood pressure. You do it with sensors on your body, which send information to a monitor. A therapist teaches you how to control your reaction to stresses.
Take slow breaths from your belly. It can calm you and turn off the stress receptors that tighten your muscles and make pain worse. Plus, when you focus on your breathing, you take your brain away from thoughts about pain.
You may not feel like moving, but it’s good for you. It won’t make your RA worse, and it could lower the swelling in your joints and help ease your pain. Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist before you get started. They can help create the right program for you. It’ll probably focus on:
Aerobics, like walking or swimming, to get your heart moving
Strength training, to keep the muscles around your joints strong
Range-of-motion exercises to help your joints move like they should
Balance moves to help you avoid stumbles and falls
This natural remedy dates back thousands of years. But modern science does show it can help ease pain. There are many different types. You’ll want to talk to your doctor before you try it. You can also ask for recommendations. It’s good to get a massage therapist who’s worked with people that have RA. Let him know if you have any sore spots he needs to avoid. You can also ask him not to use scented products that could irritate your skin.
This technique can be as simple as focusing on your breathing and just noticing each inhale and exhale. It doesn’t require any spiritual beliefs, and it isn’t about being super-calm. Anyone can do it, and only a few minutes can make a difference. Your mind will almost certainly wander. That’s OK. Just return your attention to your breath, or whatever else you choose to focus on.
Because Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition, it can be difficult to spot the early warning signs. However, we’ve put together a list of 10 of the most common early signs and symptoms of the disease, according to the National Parkinson Foundation.
This is one of the most recognized symptoms. Although there could be many other reasons for tremors, facial-twitching or limb-shaking is a common early warning sign of Parkinson’s disease.
Many Parkinson’s disease patients find that their handwriting suddenly becomes very small. The way you write may also have changed if you are in the early stages of the condition.
Many people temporarily lose their sense of smell due to colds or the flu, but if the loss is sustained over a length of time without any noticeable congestion, then it could be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease.
Trouble sleeping can be attributed to many illnesses and Parkinson’s disease is one of them. Waking due to sudden body movements, or thrashing your legs in your sleep could be a warning sign of the condition.
General stiffness that can’t be attributed to exercise aches and pains and doesn’t ease up when moving around could be an early warning sign of Parkinson’s disease. Many patients complain that it feels like their feet are literally stuck to the floor.
If you’ve ever had heartburn, you know the uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest and throat is no fun. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, when acid from your stomach bubbles up into your esophagus, the tube connecting your stomach to your throat. Your esophagus is much more sensitive than your stomach, which is built to handle the corrosive effects of acid.
A little acid reflux once in a while is usually nothing to worry about–it’s likely you just ate or drank too much. “Everyone refluxes a little bit,” says Lawrence Schiller, MD, past president of the American College of Gastroenterology.
If the reflux becomes frequent and severe enough, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While this needs to be treated to avoid complications (including a higher risk of esophageal cancer), you can often take care of or even prevent occasional acid reflux on your own with lifestyle changes like eating smaller meals and losing excess weight. Here are some of the more frequent causes of the condition.
Certain foods and drinks
Many people complain that they get reflux after eating certain foods. Common culprits include items high in fat, chocolate, spicy foods, citrusy or acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes, mint, garlic, and onions, as well as carbonated drinks.
These foods may be more difficult to digest, producing extra stomach acid that can end up in the esophagus. Fatty foods may also relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which usually acts as a “lid” on the stomach. “The LES prevents the backflow of acid from the stomach up to the esophagus,” explains Elena Ivanina, DO, MPH, a gastroenterologist atLenox Hill Hospital in New York City.Sometimes, though, the LES doesn’t do its job as well as it should.
Doctors often counsel lifestyle changes–including avoiding these triggering foods–to combat reflux symptoms before trying medications. “That’s something people can do without needing to spend a lot of money on medicine,” says Dr. Schiller, also the program director of the gastroenterology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Dallas.
Obesity is one of the main drivers behind both acid reflux and GERD. It may also increase the risk of GERD complications like Barrett’s esophagus, a condition involving precancerous changes in esophageal cells.
It’s not just extra fat that seems to raise the risk. It’s “central obesity,” which means more fat around your middle, says Dr. Ivanina.
Experts believe extra abdominal fat adds pressure to the stomach, forcing acid up into the esophagus. Hormones could also play a role. People who are obese have more circulating estrogen, which has been linked with GERD symptoms. Postmenopausal women using hormone therapy also have an increased risk of reflux.
Studies have shown that losing weight either through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery can ease symptoms of reflux.
A hiatal hernia is when the top part of your stomach bulges up into your chest cavity, preventing the LES from closing properly.
Many people with hiatal hernias have no symptoms at all. In other cases, the hernia can be caused by GERD, and in still others, GERD is a symptom of the hernia.
Hiatal hernias are more common after the age of 50 and in people who are obese. They sometimes also happen after coughing, vomiting, or a physical injury.
Losing weight along with a healthy diet can help control reflux symptoms due to a hiatal hernia. Some people with reflux due to hiatal hernias may benefit from over-the-counter or prescription heartburn medicines. In extreme cases, surgery may be needed to push the stomach back down and reinforce the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus.
Unilateral spastic cerebral palsy, caused by damage to the developing central nervous system, is characterized by motor impairments mainly lateralized to one side of the body, with hand impairments greatly contributing to functional limitations. The integrity of the motor areas and the corticospinal tract (CST) is often compromised. The specific etiology may drastically influence subsequent development of CST pathways. Here we describe the pathophysiology underlying impaired upper extremity function, with particular emphasis on the relation between CST damage and hand function. We also describe the resulting sensory and motor deficits, with an emphasis on studies of precision grip, which highlight impairments in motor execution, sensorimotor integration, motor planning, and bimanual coordination beyond dexterity impairments. We show that the type and extent of early brain damage and/or CST reorganization is highly predictive of the severity of these impairments. We discuss the clinical implications of these findings, including the intriguing possibility that the specific pathophysiology is predictive of treatment outcomes. We suggest that a ‘one‐treatment fits all approach’ may be insufficient, and that future rehabilitation efforts will be best guided by closely relating treatment efficacy with the specific pathophysiology.
What this paper adds
Type and extent of early brain damage and/ or CST reorganization is highly predictive of the severity of these upper extremity impairments.
Future rehabilitation efforts will be best guided by closely relating treatment efficacy with the specific pathophysiology.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is among the most common pediatric neurological disorders, and is caused by damage to the brain during early development. Unilateral spastic CP, characterized by motor impairments mainly lateralized to one body side, is among the most common subtypes.
Here we review the pathophysiology and mechanisms underlying impaired upper extremity function of unilateral spastic CP. We also relate the specific pathophysiology with the hand impairments, showing clear relations between the type and extent of early brain damage and/or reorganization with impairment severity. Finally we discuss clinical implications, including possible pathophysiological predictors of treatment outcome.
Neural Basis of Unilateral Spastic CP
During typical human development, corticospinal tract (CST) motor pathways from motor areas, notably primary motor cortex, develop in a corticofugal manner, approaching the spinal cord by the 20th week of gestation.1 Subsequently these projections undergo synaptogenesis, with target cells at the spinal‐segmental level. The motor cortices initially develop bilateral projections (i.e. projections to both contralateral and ipsilateral upper extremities). Continued development is characterized by gradual weakening of ipsilateral projections, and strengthening of contralateral projections through synaptic competition,1which is driven by primary motor cortex activity.2 This intricate process is susceptible to prenatal and perinatal brain damage. CST directly innervates hand motoneurons, which provide the capacity for selective upper extremity movement control.3 Thus, damage to this developing system can permanently impair manual dexterity.3
Unilateral spastic CP is typically the result of middle cerebral artery infarct, hemi‐brain atrophy, periventricular lesions, brain malformation, or posthemorrhagic porencephaly,4, 5and the integrity of the motor areas and CST is often compromised.6, 7 The specific etiology may drastically influence subsequent development of CST pathways.1 The severity of hand impairments largely depends on the extent of damage to the CST,7, 8 which can be estimated by using both conventional MRIs and diffusion tensor imaging, by measuring the asymmetry in the cross‐sectional area of the cerebral peduncles through which the CST passes (Fig. 1a),7 or by measuring the fractional anisotropy.8 The asymmetry in the CST innervating each hand (Fig. 1a) is highly correlated to severity of manual dexterity impairments, with higher asymmetry (values below 100) related to greater impairments. The timing of CST damage is also predictive of outcome. Generally speaking, cortical malformation in the first two trimesters results in less severe hand impairments than periventricular lesions early in the third trimester or middle cerebral artery damage later in the third trimester (Fig. 1b).6 Unilateral brain damage occurring during the intrauterine period can attenuate or prevent neuronal activity in CST projections originating in the affected hemisphere, with the result being that the ipsilateral projections are maintained and strengthened during further development, whereas the contralateral projections are partly or completely abolished, especially in individuals with large lesions.1, 6, 9 Even in individuals with small lesions, there can also be a reorganization whereby involvement of the ipsilateral hemisphere can show significant activation of ipsilateral premotor areas.1Generally, individuals who undergo such ipsilateral reorganization have more severely affected hand function (fewer blocks manipulated, Fig. 1c)10 and the persistence of mirror movements. However, that is not to say that this reorganization is dysfunctional; instead, it probably represents functional compensation of the affected hemisphere by the unaffected hemisphere. The extent to which this ipsilateral reorganization is able to compensate for the absent contralateral projects decreases with increasing age at the time of damage.6 It should also be pointed out that CST projections to spinal interneurons, which are also important for transmitting signals from cortex to muscle, are also impaired, further affecting coordination and reflex control.11
For many, the holiday season revolves around spending time with friends and family. Even when surrounded by loved ones, however, it can be easy to feel alone as a celiac. You can’t eat offered Christmas cookies without asking for the ingredient list. You may have even done a Casey and turned down invitations to Thanksgiving dinner simply because you knew that saying, “I can’t eat that, but thank you for the offer” to dozens of strangers would get old.
As isolating as celiac disease can seem, however, the numbers show a different story. One in 133 Americans have celiac disease. In fact, some of your favorite celebrities may even be fellow celiacs-in-arms. Feeling lonely this holiday season?
Then keep reading to discover the 11+ celiac celebrities who are making the world a better place, one industry at a time.
1. Awesome Athletes.
For some athletes, eating gluten free is the key to winning gold – in the Olympics or otherwise. Great Britain’s Olympic curling champion Eve Muirhead was diagnosed with celiac disease just months before the 2014 Olympic games. While she’s unsure of whether she could’ve done better than a bronze medal if she hadn’t been dealing with her health issues, she still thinks, “Having been through all of this, I am stronger – both mentally and physically.”
Other celiacs with proven athletic prowess? NFL football player Cedric Benson was reportedly diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009, and Drew Brees has been linked with celiac disease as well. Perhaps one of the more vocal celiac athletes is professional golfer Sarah Jane Smith. “It’s so important for people to understand this is something they can take control of,” Smith says. “Celiac disease doesn’t have to control you.”
2. Witty Writers.
Even if you’ve never heard her name, you’re probably familiar with Sarah Vowell’s writing. Besides contributing to public radio’s “This American Life,” she’s written for Los Angeles Times, Esquire, GQ, The New York Times Book Review and plenty more. She’s quirky, loves traveling and doesn’t drive because of a personal phobia – and she’ll sign her books with phrases like: “To my gluten free fans.” Sometimes we celiacs are just too cool to handle.
Not that I’m biased or anything…
Still not convinced? Then meet Meg Cabot, a New York Times best-selling author of various books, including the Princess Diaries. She addressed her diagnosis in a blog post, sharing her own struggles (like “HOW DO I ORDER FOOD IN A RESTAURANT?” Yep, we’ve all asked the same question…) and her attempts to “put a positive spin on it.” As cliche as it sounds, celiacs really are in it together…whether we’re a world renown author or just a writing wannabe!
3. Newscasters in the know.
Whether you’ve watched him as a broadcaster on Fox or ESPN, or as a host in MSNBC’s Countdown, Keith Olbermann has one trait in common: he has celiac disease. He has reportedly called gluten a “poison” for his body and has donated to charities that provide celiac support and awareness.
Heidi Collins is another familiar face in the news industry, especially if you enjoy watching CNN. She experienced over a decade of health problems before being diagnosed with celiac disease. Her oldest son, Riley, also tested positive for celiac disease. Collins is also an example of the damage caused by years of untreated celiac disease: it was one of the reasons Collins and her husband chose to have a second child via surrogate. Collins’ biggest piece of advice? “If you have celiac disease, do not be shy. You really have to fight for yourself and your health.”
4. Entertainment Experts.
Zooey Deschanel may be a “new girl” on TV, but celiac disease is nothing new to her. Besides avoiding wheat due to celiac, she is also allergic to eggs and dairy. When Zooey appeared as a judge on Top Chef Masters, contestants had to learn to make something delicious within those restrictions. If you learned about the magic that is quinoa pasta from that episode, I’m sure Zooey would accept a thank you note.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, cohost of The View and former “Survivor” contestant, is another celiac celeb. She’s taken her advocacy to another level by writing a book called, “G-Free: A Gluten Survival Guide.” Hasselbeck hopes that the book will help readers “begin your journey to a better body and a better self – without all of the heartache (and bellyache!) that [she] endured for far too long.”
The superstar title among all celiac celebrities, though, probably goes to Jennifer Esposito. If you’re a fan of Gluten Dude, you’ve heard of this actress before. When she’s not blowing viewers away in shows like Blue Bloods or NCIS, she’s blowing away foodiesat Jennifer’s Way Bakery.
About five million American women suffer from a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) that often lead to the development of cysts in the ovaries. It may also make your periods irregular and cause acne, weight gain, and fertility issues. PCOS is quite common and even celebs are not immune to this condition. Here is a list of celebrities with PCOS and their experience with this condition.
Signs of PCOS
You usually experience signs of PCOS when you have begun having your periods. Many women develop this condition later in their reproductive years – this usually happens when they become overweight. There will be signs that your doctor can see and there will symptoms that you will experience. Your doctor will check the following first:
Irregular periods: Your doctor will ask how regular your periods are. Issues like having no period for longer than 35 days, having fewer than eight periods a year, and not menstruating for four months or longer usually indicate that you have PCOS.
Excess androgen: They will check your androgen levels. Elevated levels may lead to facial and body hair, male-pattern baldness, adult acne, or severe adolescent acne.
Polycystic ovaries: They will check if you have developed fluid-filled sacs around the eggs in your ovaries.
If you experience serious irregularity in your periods, are worried about infertility, or have signs of elevated signs of androgen, you should immediately go see your doctor.
5 Celebrities with PCOS
While they do not come out in public and shout, there certainly are many celebrities suffering PCOS.Many of them do not mind sharing the experience though. Here are some popular names.
She received serious criticism when she said she cannot handle becoming pregnant, but she later explained why she said that. She was suffering from endometriosis and PCOS and knew she would require medical treatment and medications to complete her pregnancy. She was actually referring to the medical interventions that she was not ready for.
Emma Thompson has appeared in several movies and has bagged Oscar as well. In 1997, she suffered a miscarriage and then battled infertility for many years. She opted for in-vitro fertility (IVF) treatments and gave birth to Gaia in 1999. She had many fertility issues and possibly PCOS that led to those issues.
Unlike many other celebrities with PCOS, Victoria Beckham was never private about her being suffering from PCOS. However, she never let this condition take control of her life. She now takes special measurements to keep her weight under control – many PCOS women find it difficult to control body weight but Victoria has managed to defy the odds. She had her issues with infertility and PCOS, but she is now a proud mother of three sons and a baby girl.
In recent years, the medical spotlight has increasingly been shining on Lyme disease, the bacterial tick-borne illness that often comes with a host of vague, mysterious symptoms.
The widespread illness is often considered the “great imitator” because its symptoms typically mimic other health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and others.
Getting a proper Lyme disease diagnosis remains challenging because testing is often inconclusive, potentially leaving those impacted to suffer for weeks, months, or years before being correctly treated. Although treatments do exist, there is no cure.
Here are 14 celebrities who have spoken out about their experiences with Lyme disease, helping to shed light on this mysterious tick-borne illness.
Avril Lavigne went public with her Lyme battle in 2015 and is now an advocate for those with the illness.
Lavigne opened up about her struggle with Lyme disease in a June 2015 interview with “Good Morning America,” revealing that she’d been bedridden in October 2014. She called that the “worst time” in her life after seeing specialists and doctors who misdiagnosed her with chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.
In October 2018, the “Complicated” singer told Billboard she felt unwell during her 2014 tour. She recalled thinking, “I’m achy, I’m fatigued, I cannot get the f— out of bed – what the f— is wrong with me?” as her symptoms progressively got worse.
During one of her darkest days battling with side effects of the disease, Lavigne said she wrote her 2018 song “Head Above Water,” telling Billboard, “I had accepted that I was dying … And literally under my breath, I was like, ‘God, help me keep my head above the water.'”
Lavigne has also started the Avril Lavigne Foundation, which aims to bring awareness to those dealing with Lyme and other serious illnesses and disabilities.
She told “GMA” viewers that might be suffering, “There is hope. Lyme disease does exist and you can get better.”
Ben Stiller also had trouble getting an accurate diagnosis.
In 2011, Stiller told The Hollywood Reporter about his Lyme disease saying, “I got it in Nantucket, Massachusetts, a couple of years ago. My knee became inflamed and they couldn’t figure out what it was, then they found out it wasLyme.”
He says he’s now symptom-free but notes that Lyme will never leave his system.
Shania Twain says her battle with Lyme has impacted her career.
Twain dominated the pop and country charts in the 1990s and early 2000s, but by 2004, she’d contracted Lyme disease, which she attributes to issues with her vocal cords.
In 2017, she told Canadian news outlet CBC that she was bitten by a tick when on tour in Norfolk, Virginia. She said she saw a tick fall of her and she immediately began to see troubling Lyme disease symptoms pop up.
“I was on tour, so I almost fell off the stage every night. I was very, very dizzy and didn’t know what was going on. It’s just one of those things you don’t suspect,” she added.
It took Twain years to figure out that she had dysphonia, a neurological disorder of the vocal cords in which muscles can spasm and impact speech, which she attributes to the Lyme bacteria.
She now warns others about the disease.
“[Lyme] is very dangerous because you have a very short window to catch it and then treat it and then even when you treat it, you could still very well be left with effects, which is what happened to me,” Twain told CBC. “It’s a debilitating disease and extremely dangerous. You can’t play around with it, so you’ve got to check yourself for ticks.”
In 2017, she prepared for a musical comeback and began advocating on behalf of fellow individuals with Lyme disease, telling E! News it’s “such a silent evil thing.”
Kelly Osbourne went undiagnosed for nearly a decade.
The former reality star has been open about her addiction to prescription drugs, but in her 2017 book “There Is No F*cking Secret: Letters From a Badass Bitch,” Osbourne reveals she’d unknowingly been battling Lyme disease for years, too.
She explained that her mum, Sharon, purchased her dad, Ozzy, a reindeer sanctuary for their home in England for his 56th birthday in 2004. She said shortly after she was bitten by a tick, which Ozzy burned off of her.
For years after, she experienced “travelling pain,” ranging from stomach aches to a sore throat.
Osbourne revealed that doctors simply kept giving her prescriptions even though she suspected she was battling Lyme. An alternative medicine specialist finally tested her and after her positive diagnosis, she flew to Germany for stem cell treatment.
Osbourne wrote that she was initially afraid to speak publicly about Lyme disease because “it seems like the trendy disease to have right now, and I’m tired of seeing sad celebrities play the victim on the cover of weekly mags,” but that she now acts as her own health advocate.
Ally Hilfiger battled the disease for decades and chronicled her journey in a memoir.
Osbourne is not the only reality star to deal with Lyme disease – the former “Rich Girls” star went misdiagnosed for a long time after being bit by a tick at 7 years old in 1992.
In her book “Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me,” Hilfiger chronicles her battle with the invisible illness and the all-too-visible symptoms that followed.
In 2016, she told Health magazine, “I remember getting bit by a tick and my parents sent it off to the labs. And we got inconclusive tests back.”
For 10 years, she says she multiple doctors gave her a variety of diagnoses from fibromyalgia to rheumatoid arthritis.
The emotional battle is just as hard as the physical one, according to the fashion designer.
“One of the biggest issues I think a lot of Lyme sufferers have is that some days you can have good days. And other days you can feel really feel horribly and not be able to get out of bed,” she told Health. “And sometimes you start to doubt whether or not you’re really feeling what your feeling, if that makes any sense. And you feel disbelieved.”
These days, she’s doing much better, telling the magazine that finally receiving the correct diagnosis felt like she “won the lottery.”
Did you know that signs of a stroke can be different in women than men? This, plus risk factors you may not know about, make stroke a leading killer of women. Here’s the info you need.
Why symptoms are different
PR IMAGE FACTORY/SHUTTERSTOCK
If you’re at risk for a stroke, one acronym could save your life: FAST, developed by the American Stroke Association (ASA), which stands for face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time to call 911. But these aren’t the only or even most obvious stroke symptoms in women, says Cheryl Bushnell, MD, professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “We have no idea why the stroke symptoms might be different for women. We need research on this topic.” Women also have unique risk factors—their hormones can play a role—making stroke the third leading cause of death in women.
Fainting or seizures
You might be tempted to minimize a fainting spell, but it could be a stroke: Women tend to suffer strokes to the back of the brain more often than men, says Diana Greene-Chandos MD, FNCS, assistant professor of neurosurgery and neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Known as posterior circulation strokes, they cut off “blood flow to the occipital lobes, brainstem, cerebellum, and part of the temporal lobe. The top of the brainstem is where the consciousness center lies,” Dr. Greene-Chandos says, and cutting blood flow to this part of the brain can lead to fainting. She notes, however, that fainting “could also be related to a hyperventilation response to any type of stroke, as a fear response,” and that seizures, another of the stroke symptoms in women, can also be confused with a loss of consciousness.
Although women would think chest pain and shortness of breath are signs of a heart attack, it could be a stroke. “This is consistent again with posterior circulation problems from the bottom of the brainstem where the respiratory drive centers lie,” says Dr. Greene-Chandos. Early recognition of stroke signs is crucial, says Kathryn Rexrode, MD, chief of the Division of Women’s Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “It is important to get prompt emergency care if you are experiencing stroke symptoms since some strokes can be stopped by use of thrombolytic, or clot-busting, drugs,” she adds.
According to a survey from Dr. Greene-Chandos and colleagues at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, only ten percent of women surveyed knew that hiccups, combined with atypical chest pain, are among the early stroke symptoms in women. “Hiccups are consistent with posterior circulation problems from the brainstem,” Dr. Greene-Chandos says. “The brainstem holds swallowing and the drive to breathe,” along with other functions.
Sudden behavioral changes or agitation
Women are half as likely to report a non-traditional stroke symptom compared to men, according to findings from the University of Michigan; the most common of these symptoms was a shift in a woman’s mental state. Dr. Greene-Chandos believes this could be consistent with a posterior circulation stroke, which could target areas responsible for memory and personality. However, the frontal lobe is also tied to personality, so behavior changes “could be due to a frontal lobe stroke as well,” she says.
Nausea or vomiting
A stroke in the cerebellum can also lead to dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, Dr. Greene-Chandos says. “This is consistent with posterior circulation problems from either the brainstem or the cerebellum.” It can also be seen in intracranial hemorrhage-type of strokes as well, she says, in which a bulging blood vessel (an aneurysm) bursts and causes bleeding into the brain. These are the scary signs of a brain aneurysm everyone should know.
Psoriasis is an irritating skin condition in which sufferers can experience different degrees of lesion outbreaks and discomfort. Yes, even celebrities who are constantly in the spotlight suffer from this embarrassing disease. So, don’t feel alone if psoriasis is impacting your life. These ten famous people who suffer from psoriasis encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle to minimize the condition and not feel embarrassed by your scaly skin.
1. DARA TORRES
Twelve-time Olympic medalist Dara Torres has found that swimming actually helps her psoriasis. Although some would argue that chlorine would irritate the skin, Torres wants fellow athletes to know that the pool chemicals are actually beneficial for the condition. She also wants to be a spokesperson for the disease ensuring that sufferers are not self-conscious about their appearance and will continue to take part in athletics, especially swimming.
2. KIM KARDASHIAN
Many fans might not know that the provocative reality star is one of the famous people who suffer from psoriasis. Kim has been known to bare it all and her psoriasis is hardly ever visible. Kim was first diagnosed with the skin condition when she was 30, the same age that her mother Kris discovered her psoriasis. Kim revealed that she suffered from psoriasis on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians in 2011. Kim tries to maintain a healthy diet and regularly uses beauty products to minimize her flare ups
3. JON LOVITZ
Comedian Jon Lovitz who’s best known for his work on Saturday Night Live and in 2001’s Rat Race suffers from plaque psoriasis. The actor says that at one point the lesions covered over 75% of his body. He worked with many different dermatologists to find which medications worked for him. He recommends that psoriasis sufferers don’t give up trying to manage the incurable disease.
4. LEANN RIMES
Country music star LeAnn Rimes was diagnosed with psoriasis at just two-years old. The singer says that by the time she was six, the lesions covered nearly 80% of her body. Rimes says that she was constantly bullied at school and referred to as “scaly girl” growing up. Luckily, thanks to proper medications and healthy eating habits, Rimes has been able to get her condition under control.
5. STACY LONDON
Here’s another one of the famous people who suffer from psoriasis you probably didn’t know about. The What Not to Wear host revealed that growing up her skin condition was so severe she’d wear long pants and turtlenecks all year round to hide the lesions. The stylist admits that she felt like a “monster.” London says she turned to fashion to boost her self-esteem.